UEFA demands Ukraine take off the slogan but okays the map just one day before Euro Cup

Ukraine's new jersey shows a map of Ukraine including Russian-occupied Crimea. (AP/Andriy Pavelko)

UEFA informed Ukraine a day before the commencement of the European Championships that the patriotic term "Glory to the heroes" must be removed due to its political undertones.

While a map on Ukraine's new tournament shirt was not a concern, the combination of two words, "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to the heroes," was "obviously political in nature," according to European soccer's regulatory body on June 10.

Andriy Pavelko, the president of the Football Federation of Ukraine, introduced the new design on June 7 and stated that "all Ukraine, from Sevastopol and Simferopol to Kyiv, from Donetsk and Luhansk to Uzhhorod, would support them in every match."

The next day, Russia filed a complaint with UEFA, requesting an "explanation" as to why the jerseys, which were viewed as a "political provocation" in Moscow, were allowed.

Moscow was particularly offended by the slogans and map, which included the Crimean Peninsula, which is technically part of Ukraine but was taken by Russia in 2014.

After taking Crimea by force, Russia attempted to legitimate its actions via a widely mocked referendum.

The poll was held in a severely militarized atmosphere and was therefore illegal under Ukrainian law. The majority of the international community has never acknowledged the outcome.

The slogan "must be eliminated" because the "particular combination of the two words is regarded to be clearly political in character, with historic and militaristic significance," according to UEFA.

Ukraine's soccer association is "in discussion" with UEFA to preserve the phrases on the shirts, according to AFP.

Donetsk and Luhansk are eastern cities taken by separatist troops backed by the Kremlin in 2014, at the start of a war that has claimed the lives of over 13,000 people. Crimea, which Russia annexed in March of that year, includes Sevastopol and Simferopol.

The jerseys are for the Euro 2020 competition, which will be held from June 11 to July 11 in 11 locations across Europe, including St. Petersburg, Russia, where Ukraine may play if it progresses to the quarterfinals.

Publish : 2021-06-10 19:46:00

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